Writing Crisis? 8 Reasons Why & How to Conquer Them: Part 5 of 8

Writing Crisis? 8 Reasons Why & How to Conquer Them: Part 5 of 8

Note: This is the fifth installation of an eight-part series. Did you miss part one? Read it here.
 Photo courtesy of Tim Gouw on Unsplash

Photo courtesy of Tim Gouw on Unsplash

Reason 5

I don’t want to sound stupid or uninformed.


I went for years not finishing anything. Because, of course, when you finish something you can be judged․‥I had poems which were re-written so many times I suspect it was just a way of avoiding sending them out.Erica Jong
To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.Aristotle

When I was in grade school, a veterinarian visited our class. He brought a litter of puppies with him.

A parent filmed the presentation. The camera was just behind me and I could hear it humming while the vet spoke.

After the vet finished his speech, he answered questions.

I, being brilliant and naive, asked how you told the difference between the boy dogs and the girl dogs.

The vet stumbled for words and blushed. The other kids howled. The parents laughed until they cried.

The videographer almost dropped the camera.

I wanted to a) die on the spot, b) chew off my tongue, and c) crawl under the desk. To this day, I cringe when I think about it.

To further my humiliation, the next day the video was shown to other classes in our grade, and I had the pleasure of reliving the moment again.

This, without comparison, is my moment of shame. Nothing. No-thing can make me feel as horrid as I did that day.

Nothing I write or do or say can ever bring that level of embarrassment to me.

It doesn’t matter if I’m the hero or the zero after the next post I write; I’ll still write another. And another. And another.

Writing is more important to me than the response after.

Yes, I love to be loved. But I still need-to, have-to write. Over and over again.

And, before you ask, I do know how to tell the difference between boys and girls.

I’m just not telling.


Remember, it's better to create something and be criticised than to create nothing and criticise others.Ricky Gervais @rickygervais
Step One: realize that creative folks who produce content regularly don’t necessarily think their work is brilliant and immune to criticism — they just don’t care anymore if it happens to be perceived as “stupid,” “bad,” or “pointless.” How do you stop caring? That’s Step Two: you must have confidence in your work and accept that it will take on a life of its own after you present it to the world. I always say there should be people who hate your writing. When everyone likes your writing, you haven’t made enough impact. For instance, there should be someone who thinks it’s really dumb that you wrote about the serendipitous way you discovered your favorite recipe for an organic, non-toxic bathroom cleaner. Because for every person who thinks it’s dumb, there is another person who is delighted you shared your recipe; it’s exactly what he was looking for — and he feels a connection with you because your story is his story. Since you contributed a personal anecdote rather than just listing the ingredients in the recipe, you’ve helped a reader get to know you. Now, he values you as a resource․‥

So, don’t aim to please. Aim to connect.Stephanie Flaxman
When you succumb to judgement (sic) you’re saying that the judge’s opinion of you has more value than who you are as an individual.Liz, A Life on Your Terms
Reason 5 Focus Questions
Write down your answers.
If you did make a mistake, what is the worst thing someone could say? Why do you care?


Writing Exercise 5
  • Write about your most embarrassing moment. Don’t leave out a single excruciating detail.
  • Post it on your blog, email it to your friends, enter it into a contest.
  • Shout it loud and proud—this is my humiliation, hear me roar.
  • Now go out with your friends and have a good laugh.
  • Come home—tipsy or sober—and write about all the embarrassing moments your friends shared with you.
  • Posting on your blog is optional.

Learn more about conquering your fear of judgment
Writing Crisis? 8 Reasons Why & How to Conquer Them: Part 6 of 8

Writing Crisis? 8 Reasons Why & How to Conquer Them: Part 6 of 8

Writing Crisis? 8 Reasons Why & How to Conquer Them: Part 4 of 8

Writing Crisis? 8 Reasons Why & How to Conquer Them: Part 4 of 8